10/2 – Yankees at Rays
|Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (19-7, 3.21)|
|Pitching: LHP David Price (9-7, 4.60)|
Tonight the Yankees play Game No. 160, the first of a three-game weekend series at Tropicana Field and what looked – at least on the schedule – like it would have been an important series. It still is, but for a different reason — here is CC Sabathia’s first ever chance at a 20-win season, and Joe Girardi said that there is a feeling in the clubhouse that the Yankees will do whatever it takes to help him win.
“He’s been at the forefront,” Girardi said. “He’s taken charge of the rotation and if you look at what he’s done, the innings he’s given you, most nights he almost gives the bullpen a complete night off. He’s been instrumental in our second half surge.”
Of course, to Sabathia, this is a tune-up for the really important stuff – the big picture, the start on Wednesday in Game 1. But who would say no to a 20-win season? Here’s a stat to remember as they prepare to face David Price:
The Yankees are a Major League-best 36-17 (.679) vs. left-handed starters in 2009…have won 15 of their last 19G against LH starters…lead the Majors with a .289 (487-for-1,685) batting average vs. LHP…SS Derek Jeter is tops in the AL (second in the Majors) in batting average (.402, 70-for-174) and in OBP (.475) vs. LHP (third in the Majors).
More updates — Girardi said that he’d like to see Dave Robertson throw an inning tonight and again on Sunday. Phil Hughes should also see some time tonight. Expect to see Freddy Guzman get put into a running situation as the Yankees still try to figure out if they should carry both him and Brett Gardner in the ALDS.
There has been no thought given to having a player-coach for the last game of the season on Sunday. Girardi said he might hand the lineup card to Jorge Posada, who probably won’t be catching A.J. Burnett that afternoon.
There will be no workout on Monday at Yankee Stadium, a complete off-day for the Yankees. They’ll be on the field Tuesday in the Bronx.
The Yankees WWE Belt auction ended on Thursday, will the winning bid coming in at $9,450…all proceeds of the auction will go to Camp Sundown and the XP Society, who visited Yankee Stadium during HOPE Week…RHP A.J. Burnett is credited with organizing the effort in which all his teammates signed the belt in order to raise money for the organization which aids children sufferers of Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic disease which causes the body to be unable to repair cells damaged by UV light.